Some folks thought that the final rain showers had fallen on Thursday, May 23, and would leave pleasant weather conditions in their wake. Wrong. Instead, it was as if June’s humidity and temps had arrived early, creating a need for icy drinks, sheer sundresses and the doffing of suit jackets.
Turns out, they all were hallmarks of the Crystal Charity Ball Former Chairman Dinner at Gail Fischer’s redecorated digs in Preston Hollow. Cuisine doyenne Cassandra had insisted that, as the sun sank slowly in the west, the evening breezes would make dining around the pool simply lovely. This despite the murmuring of one just-arrived Debbie Downer who complained, “I’m preparing myself to go outside.”
Well, dang it if the Brit catering maestro didn’t call it absolutely right.
While the former chairs (Barbara Varel – 1970, Lyda Hill – 1975, Joyce Mitchell – 1988, Sally Berry – 1990, Tucean Webb – 1992, Sara Martineau – 1993, Barbara Stuart – 1994, Tincy Miller – 1997, Becky Bright – 1999, Karen Shuford – 2000, Lydia Novakov – 2002, Louise Griffeth – 2003, Margo Goodwin – 2004, Jill Smith – 2005, Debbie Snell – 2006, Gloria Eulich – 2008, Debbie Oates – 2009, Cynthia Mitchell – 2010, Connie O’Neill – 2011, Caren Kline – 2013, Robyn Conlon – 2014, Michal Powell – 2015, Christie Carter – 2016 and Claire Emanuelson – 2018) and their companions like Kathy and Richard Holt, C. A. Anderson with Annette Watkins, Laura and Dennis Moon, Tucean and David Webb, Becky Bright with Rob Adair and Louise Griffeth cocktailed inside — chit-chat included 2020 CCB Chair Tucker Enthoven preparing to visit a new grand-baby in San Francisco and Christie Carter getting set for Santa Fe — the sun began making its exit right on cue, and the breezes picked up. As the final rays of Ol’ Sol disappeared, guests including Debbie and Nickey Oates, Lyda Hill and Claire and Dwight Emanuelson filed outside to tables surrounding the fountain-fed pool, their way made clear thanks to votive candles.
But before the move from AC to outdoors was made, 2019 CCB Chair Pat McEvoy thanked Gail, the evening’s Co-Chairs Leslie Diers and Angie Kadesky and Bank of America for underwriting the event. Bank of America Dallas Market President Jennifer Chandler, who was wearing the color of the night — pink— saluted the efforts made for North Texas by CCB and BofA.
Then the former chairs known as “The Ma’ams” gathered on Gail’s winding staircase for their annual group photo. After all was arranged, 1993 Chair Sara Martineau stood up from her wheelchair to join the sister Ma’ams.
Looking at the group, David Martineau was kidded about his chauffeuring Sara. He laughed and claimed he was simply Sara’s Uber driver.
Then it was out to the tables surrounding the pool. While Cassandra was right about the conditions being more user-friendly than suspected, some guests like Mark Varel removed their jackets anyway.
Speaking of Varels, Table No. 4 was a very Varel delight. It was just a year ago that Highland Park grads Gloria Eulich and Mark had reconnected when Mark escorted his mom, Barbara Varel, to the dinner. On this night, Mark was Gloria’s escort and Barbara had former CCB member Leslie Varel as her “date.”
2015 CCB Chair Michal Powell recalled how she had first heard about the Austin restaurant called Olamaie, owned by the son of her dinner companion/2019 Fashion Show Chair Ola Fojtasek, on Jimmy Kimmel’s TV program. BTW, Ola and Michal had just returned from Chicago, where Olamaie had made it to the finals of the James Beard Awards.
The rest of talk at the table ranged from the glory days at the original Cipango Club to Mark’s next gig as a member of Spector’s Gun Club, a Dallas rock band that plays “British invasion music” from the 1960s and ’70s.
For more than 30 more pictures of the night, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.